- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ken Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot who has a reported net worth of billions, said he didn’t mean any harm when he likened the treatment of the wealthy in America to the tone of Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric during Nazi Germany.

His original remarks, as reported by Politico, came in context of discussion of the populist turn America has taken, a shift he said came mostly at the pressing of Democrats and the White House.

“I hope it’s not working,” Mr. Langone said of the populist political trend, Politico reported. “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

His statement sparked near-immediate criticism, and Democrats called for those who benefited from Mr. Langone’s political donations — like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — to return the money.

Mr. Langone later apologized.

“My remarks were intended to discourage pitting one group against another group in a society,” he said, the New York Daily News reported. “If my choice of words was inappropriate — and they well may have been that — I extend my profound apologies to anyone and everyone who I may have offended.”

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